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Headteacher Dies After Being Exposed To Asbestos At Schools

A recent inquest has heard how a headteacher from Cirencester died because he was often subject to asbestos exposure at the schools where he worked during his career.

David MacDonald, who formally lead Amberley Ridge School in Stroud, died on 2 July 2012, Gloucester Coroner’s Court heard.

After Mr MacDonald was diagnosed with mesothelioma in August 2011, he made a statement outlining his career and the places where he came into contact with the deadly material.

Amberley Ridge, Chiltern Gate School at High Wycombe and Warnham Court School in West Sussex were all sites where Mr MacDonald had worked.

The father-of-three had first come into contact with asbestos while working at Warnham Court School where pipes lagged with asbestos were damaged when work was carried out on a boiler.

Mr MacDonald then became deputy head of Chiltern Gate School, which also contained asbestos, before being appointed headteacher of Amberley Ridge.

Whilst he was working at Amberley Ridge, Mr MacDonald found and reported asbestos in the boiler room and also recalls being covered head-to-toe in asbestos dust when it was removed.

Specialist Consultant Dr Robin Rudd was present at the inquest and said that mesothelioma without asbestos exposure was one case in a million but he said Mr MacDonald’s occupational history confirmed his exposure.

He said: “Each of his employments increased the risk that he would develop it.”

A post mortem carried out on Mr MacDonald found a very low level of asbestos fibres in his lungs.

Coroner Dr Preti Joshi said such low levels could occur in those exposed to asbestos many years before death and still be linked to the cause of death.

Asbestos Insure 2013

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